Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge

Leap of faith!

It was a beautiful day as the Cessna 180 that carried me and my tandem instructor-Jerry appoched ten thousand feet, the pilot gave the signal for us to get ready. I turned towards the front of the plane, Jerry moved up behind me and fasten our harnesses together. The pilot flung the door open. We inched towards this gaping hole on the side of our tiny plane where the door once was. I knelt on the edge of the doorway with my right knee, swung my left leg outside. Resting my foot on the foot rest for a moment. With butterflies in my stomach, all the while steadying myself at the exit with both of my hands. 

Before I knew it, Jerry and I leaped out of the plane. There was nothing but air to hold us up. My heart was in my throat. I scream but no noise came out. Time seems to stand still as I put my arms up to break the fall.  We must have free fall for about fifteen seconds as mother earth rushed up to meet us. Finally, much to my relief the parachute opened, slowing our descent.

The view was amazing and I began to enjoy the experience. Our landing was perfect, we landed on the drop zone just like a feather. “Thank you Jerry!”




On the way down, I remembered the similar adrenaline rush and the sense of trust, which I had experienced the day before at a bridge game.

Playing with Brad Bart at one of our IMP matches.  Dealer North. Both sides vulnerable.

As South, I held AK103 J32 J732 K10

The auction was fast and sweet.



West North East South
  1 Pass 1
Pass 4 Pass 5
Pass 5NT* Pass 7
Pass Pass Pass  


*5NT- Grand slam force, trump quality asking bid. Asked me to bid seven spades with two of the top three honors, six otherwise.

My hand was not that great and without first round controls in three suits. However I do have ace, king of spade. If Brad thought we have a chance for the Grand then I must trust him. I held my breath as I leaped to seven spades.

It seems forever before my left hand opponent led the club five. My heart was racing, I watched anxiously as Brad put down this dummy.

Q987 A AK6 AQ983

The sight of dummy was a relief as I said “Thank you partner!”


PaulApril 28th, 2010 at 8:58 am

Surely true relief is a lead not ruffed and a 3-2 trump split?

PaulApril 28th, 2010 at 9:00 am

Surely true relief is a lead not ruffed and a 3-2 trump split? Your parachute has yet to open when dummy hits the table 🙂

Bobby WolffApril 28th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Hi Michael,

The way I see it, the only major difference between your two experiences is that with your exciting grand slam in bridge, either the dummy is not what you would like it to be or you received bad breaks in important suits, there you are.

However in your higher up scintilation, jump takeout if you will, if events went sour, where are you?

Obviously I and many others will commend you for thinking and therefore acting it out, “The valiant only taste of death but once”.

Great Blog!

Ross TaylorApril 28th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I am too much of a self-preservationist to try to skydive – but my kids are all anxiously looking forward to their first, and my 76 year old mum did it two years ago! She also did hang gliding and various other kamikaze thrills.

On the other hand, I have no fear when I am looking at two of the top three honours in the trump suit and partner bids 5NT GSF.

Nice story Mike!

Dave Memphis MOJOApril 28th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Well done, both in the air and at the table.

Judy Kay-WolffApril 28th, 2010 at 5:24 pm


To each his own. I couldn’t even ascend to the top of the Empire State Building but I admire

your gutsy efforts from above. I get my kicks flying through space at the bridge table having

been converted from a rigid system of Kaplan-Sheinwold to a looser, more daring, aggressive style learned from you-know-who — but far be it from me to argue with the master.

Terrific hand and on-target analysis on your part!

Catya SuenApril 28th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Hey Batman,

When you’re good, you’re good!

Fred LernerApril 28th, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet, free-fall for 15 seconds and then hope the ‘chute opens is comparable to bidding a grand? I don’t think so! You really are off the wall 🙂

MichaelApril 29th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Paul – you’ll be happy to know the club lead was not ruffed, cleared the first huddle. How would you play the rest of the hand? Will post that question on my next blog.

Bobby – If the Grand went down, bring money and buy another entry. If the parachute didn’t open, splat! Perish the thought.

RT – Your young mum is awesome. Congratulations to your kids for doing the CN Tower.

Judy – You daredevil, is fun to try new stuff, the best is yet to come.

Fred – Aren’t all bridge players a little off the wall?

MOJO, Catya and everybody that read this blog – it pleases me to know that you all enjoyed it. Thank you.

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